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Auriculotherapy for the management of common digestive problems

A convenient and cost-effective treatment for busy executives

Digestive problems can strike anyone. But for busy executives, the downtime needed to recuperate from this can have an impact on their productivity at work.

If you are looking for a preventative traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment to manage common digestive problems, do consider auriculotherapy in your next TCM appointment.

Auriculotherapy is a treatment option in TCM that works by stimulating the central nervous system outside of the ear.

In TCM, many meridians pass through the ears and are believed to represent the whole body in an inverted fetal position. Meridians serve as network of communication between the interior and exterior environment. Through stimulation, it is believed to regulate the state of health of the inner organs and systems.

Auriculotherapy is often used to complement the other treatment methods used by TCM physicians, such as oral prescription, cupping and therapeutic massage, to manage and/or prevent health problems.

How auricular plaster therapy work

During a consultation session, a physician inspects the appearance of the ear to provide more insights of the health of the inner organs.

In this therapy, a physician may paste vaccaria seeds attached to a plaster onto the corresponding points on one ear (usually three to five points are selected).

Patients go home with the plasters and are advised to gently knead the points three times a day, each time lasting about one to three minutes. Patients are expected to experience pain, tenderness and/or a warm sensation. The stickers last about three to five days.

Patients are advised to return for a review, and if required, further treatment may be done on the other ear. 

In auriculotherapy, a physician may paste vaccaria seeds attached to a plaster onto the corresponding points on one ear. PHOTO: Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic 

Common Digestive Problems Auricular points
Epigastric pain

Main points: spleen, stomach, Shen Men 神门

Due to stress: Add liver

Acid reflux: Add cardia


Spleen, stomach, Shen Men,

pancreas, small intestine

Chronic intestinal inflammation

Large intestine, small intestine, spleen,

kidney, endocrine

Constipation Large intestine, rectum, liver
Diarrhoea Large intestine, rectum, spleen

Speedy and cost-effective treatment option

All TCM treatment methods are subjected to therapeutic responses and the success of the procedures done. For instance, when acupuncture is administered in the clinic by the physician, which usually last about 20 to 30 minutes, the therapeutic response peaks and then subsides in several hours.

Nowadays, patients are busy and are not always able to come into the clinic often. Using auriculotherapy, patients go home with the ear seeds, which they can stimulate by themselves and help to complement the effect of body acupuncture. It is convenient, cheap and non-invasive, and often yields positive results.

Pain conditions, digestive conditions, dizzy spells, weight loss, other common health issues such as tension, insomnia, and so on can be managed with auriculotherapy. It can be used for both management and prevention.

TCM symptoms of digestive problems

When it comes to managing of digestive problems, different treatment methods may be used concurrently to support the recovery and alleviation of symptoms.

Syndrome  Symptoms Oral prescription

Invasion by the Cold evil


Cold evil can be seen as bacteria or viruses but ancient physicians did not know about these, and instead grouped those symptoms into the Cold evil category. 

Acute gastric pain or cramps that subside with heat application and exacerbates when in contact with cold, watery diarrhoea. 

Agastache Formula


Stagnation of undigested food


Upper gastric pain, abdominal bloatedness after a heavy meal, vomiting of semi-digested food. 

Citrus and Crataegus Formula


Liver Qi stagnation


Gastric pain, radiating to chest area and diarrhoea that intensifies with stress, disturbed sleep, and shortness of breath.

Bupleurum and Gardenia Formula


Dampness/heat of the spleen and stomach


Burning sensation in the epigastric area, acid reflux, dry and bitter taste in mouth, poor appetite, lethargy, constipation or pasty stool. 

Sweet Dew Toxins Eliminating Formula


Yang deficiency in the spleen and stomach


Mild gastric discomfort, lasting for long hours, pain that subsides after heat application and massage, pain on an empty stomach, watery diarrhoea, cold limbs.

Minor Cinnamon and Peonia Decoction


A physician will advise and make appropriate recommendations after analysing a patient’s condition. The different treatment modalities complement one another and usually have synergistic properties.

TCM Herbal Remedy

Feeling discomfort in gastrointestinal region? Try this herbal remedy at home to soothe your stomach, recommended by Physician Lee Jin Shun from Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic.

Ingredients: Hawthorn 6g, tangerine peel 3g, malt sprouts 3g

Method: Wash and drain, simmer with boiling water for 15 minutes, consume warm.

Properties: Support digestion and intestinal motility.

 Physician Lee Jin Shun. PHOTO: Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic

Article contributed by Physician Lee Jin Shun, Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic (Bedok MRT Station & Hougang Mall)

Perk Alert!

If you’d like to try TCM, now’s your chance!

Until Sept 27, 2018, simply quote “ST-Digestive” at participating Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinics to enjoy a consultation session with three-day medication and auricular plaster therapy for $42.

Valid for new patients and existing patients whose last visit was more than a year ago (before 28 Jul 2017). Terms and conditions apply, click here for more details or call the clinic hotline at 1800-225-1887.

Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention of medical condition. You are encouraged to seek professional medical advice for any medical condition or treatment with your healthcare provider. Pregnant women are strongly advised not to attempt any of the mentioned treatment methods without first speaking to your healthcare provider.